Q1: When did you start writing and whom influenced you the most?
Andrew: Writing was a constant, as far back as grade school. I went through other phases: wanting to draw comics, play in a rock band, paint or sculpt – but I always returned to writing. In high school I read a lot of Edgar Allen Poe, William Blake, and Jack Kerouac. They showed a range of possibilities to a sheltered suburban kid in the 90s. Especially the Beats. That was my way in.
Q2: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Andrew: I started reading Roger Ebert’s movie reviews every week as he published them. This was around maybe 2003 and I was absolutely in awe of his depth and range and his speed. I didn’t want to emulate his style specifically but I saw how he connected with the movies and then communicated that connection to his readers and maybe that’s when I really felt how alive and thrilling writing can be.
Q3: Who has helped you most with writing and career?
Andrew: Without a doubt my friend and teacher and fellow traveler Robert Miltner. He was my creative writing professor in college. We’ve remained good friends and collaborators for almost twenty years now. Every sentence I’ve written, proud to say, bears some trace of him, of his influence and his friendship.
Q4: Where did you grow up and how did that influence you? Have any travels influenced your work?
Andrew: I was born in Canton, Ohio. A very midwestern town, very much a part of the rust belt. Ohio is a funny place. There’s a little bit of everything. I recently moved to Massachusetts and I’m beginning to suss out some of the subtle differences. A notable influence is my Great Lakes accent, I suppose.
Q5: What do you consider your most meaningful work creatively to you?
Andrew: I’m most grateful for my creative failures, of which there are plenty. The trials and errors that will never see publication, the experiments gone wrong, the earnest missteps and heartfelt mistakes.
Q6: Favorite activities to relax?
Andrew: Exercise. I lift weights and take boxing classes. I am six years sober and have found exercise plays a huge role in keeping me feeling balanced and stable.
Q7: What is a favorite line/ stanza/lyric from your writing?
Andrew: A phrase I return to in my writing is “brute poetics.” I write about boxing and this is the lens through which I view the sport.
Q8:What kind of music inspires you the most? What is a song or songs that always come back to you as an inspiration?
Andrew: Tom Morello is a constant inspiration.
Q9: Do you have any recent or upcoming books, music, events, etc that you would like to promote?
Andrew: My book Revelation: An Apocalypse in Fifty-Eight Fights (prose poems about Mike Tyson) is available from Press 53 and my chapbook O Hungry Star (avant garde poems about Conor McGregor) is available from Beir Bua Press. I also write semi-regularly for The Fight City, an independent boxing site.
Bonus Question: Any funny memory or strange occurrence you’d like to share during your creative journey?
Andrew: I took a few years off from writing poetry to focus on academic writing and there’s very little that’s funnier than academia.